When researching the brief for this project the first thing that came to mind was campaigns for charities spread through social media. A huge example of this is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Social Media gets a lot of criticism but spreading awareness is something it can be praised for and is powered completely by audience participation.
The viral campaign the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’ was created to spread awareness and raise money for the condition ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The videos featured someone having ice cold water poured over them, this was because the water was meant to be so cold it would make you feel paralysed for a few seconds giving a very tiny insight into what having ALS actually feels like. The person in the video was also meant to donate money to ALS research, they would then nominate their friends and family to take on the same challenge thus raising more money and awareness with every nomination.
These videos took platform on the majority of social media and went viral on Vine, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. However sadly in some cases social media took over and it became just the Ice Bucket challenge, forgetting entirely about ALS, its original purpose and became about self vanity, where people would do the challenge with no awareness or donation spread. Despite these cases the viral phenomenon even became popular with celebrities and with audience participation alone an incredible $115 million was raised for ALS researchers (ALSA).
The Ice bucket challenged wasn’t the only one of its kind either, ’The no makeup Challenge’ for cancer research also went viral, this is where girls would post a selfie wearing no makeup, and again would nominate friends and family to do the same and donate money. This campaign raised £8 million in 6 days.
This just goes to show how important and powerful audience participation can be and also how social media can be used in such a positive way.